The month of May makes Fighting Fine Lines even more meaningful since it’s National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. We were impressed to see ABC News’ Weather Anchor, Sam Champion undergo his fifth skin cancer surgery live on Good Morning America earlier last week. An average of 1 in 5 of us will develop skin cancer in our lifetimes, so read on for some quick tips on prevention, detection, and treatment.
We can’t say it enough: prevention and early detection are crucial to minimizing your chances of getting and/or dying (yikes!) from skin cancer. Protect yourself from UV light by using a broad spectrum sunscreen every day(even when it’s cloudy!). We love Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen and Aveeno Contuinuous Protection Sunblock for their light, non-greasy feel. Minimize exposure to the sun between 10am – 4pm by seeking shade, covering up, and always wearing a sultry sun-hat. And for the ladies out there, make sure your foundation has SPF.
The incidence of skin cancer continues to rise at an alarming rate with over one million non-melanoma skin cancers and over 60,000 melanomas detected this year alone. Don’t be shy… have your Dermatologist check your skin from head to toe and make this an annual part of your health routine. Also, learn to keep your skin in the clear by performing a self-exam once a month.
Pay particular attention to spots that do any of the following:
- Change in size
- Change in color
- Start hurting, itching, or bleeding
If you have a something like this, see a dermatologist ASAP! The sooner you get diagnosed the better chance you have of being treated and cured.
If your doctor does suspect that you have skin cancer, he or she will likely need to remove it. For skin cancer on your face or an old one that has returned, you may need to have a specialized procedure called Mohs Micrographic Surgery. With this technique, the surgeon is able to precisely identify and remove the cancer while maximizing the normal healthy skin left behind. The surgery is usually performed in an outpatient setting using local anesthesia as it was done for Champion.
Love the skin you live in! Know what’s normal and how to identify what’s not. Protect, detect, and react. Do not wait or hesitate to have your Derm double check.
We think Sam is a skin-care Champion that we can all look up to!
photo credit: The Daily NewsHari Nadiminti, MD Mohs Micrographic Surgery Fellow Emory University Hospital firstname.lastname@example.org